The Derwent River is an estuary where Hobart is located.
It is an important waterway in Tasmania and adds to the spectacular views from Hobart’s shores.
The river is around 240 kilometres long and begins in Lake St Clair.
You can cruise along the river, use it to reach a number of riverside attractions or simply enjoy the picturesque surrounds of this Tasmanian icon.
1. Sailing on Derwent River
One of the best ways to see the Derwent River is to take a cruise.
There are a number of cruise options available that suit every style, from ferries to yachts.
You’ll see a number of the river’s beautiful areas including waterways such as Storm Bay and D’Entrecasteaux Channel.
In the summer, you can enjoy some of the isolated white-sand beaches in the region, take a dip off the boat and sample some of the region’s finest foods.
There is also a good chance of seeing seals, dolphins and even whales, depending on the season.
2. Museum of Old and New Art (MONA)
Located along the Derwent River is Hobart’s iconic Museum of Old and New Art (MONA).
This unusual museum, opened in 2011, is home to a unique collection that brings together both modern and contemporary art.
MONA offers a permanent collection, Monanism, as well as a regular calendar of temporary exhibits.
Feel free to explore MONA’s unique building, which is set on three floors underground.
Use the electronic guide known as The O or enjoy one of the many entertainment offerings onsite.
3. Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race
The Derwent River is the finish line for the world-renowned Sydney to Hobart Yatch Race.
The race begins in Sydney on Boxing Day (26 December) and finishes in the 2-3 days on the Derwent River.
Sydney to Hobart Yacht race has been running for about 70 years.
Big crowds come to see up to 100 racing yachts vie to cross the finish line first.
If you’re planning a trip to Hobart during the Australian summer, this is a must see event.
4. Fishing in the Derwent
With the relaxing surroundings, Derwent River is perfect for fishing.
There are plenty of locations along the river to setup camp.
You’ll be able to catch Breams, Flathead, Mackerel and many other native species.
5. Whale Watching
After years of intense preservation efforts since the 1800s, Southern Right Whales, Humpback Whales and Minke Whales have all been sighted in the Derwent River.
During the winter, as they’re migrating, the whales have begun to feed in the river and the Southern Right Whales have even been using the calmer river waters as a spot to birth their young.
- At least 8,000 years before Europeans came to the area, the Derwent River and surrounds were occupied by the Mouheneener people. There is still evidence of them around the river area in the form of middens.
- Derwent River was named in 1793 by John Hayes after a river of the same name that runs past his home in Cumberland.
- During the 1800s there was an incredibly thriving and successful whaling industry located in the Derwent River and surrounds. This industry was so successful that it became too big and eventually drove the whales away, after which it collapsed in the 1840s.